Designing a destination for reliable news

San José Spotlight is the city’s first nonprofit digital news organization. They are independent, community-funded and dedicated to covering the area’s biggest issues without bias. They came to us on a mission, looking for a partner to build their brand and launch a site that would position them as the city’s go-to source for reliable news.

  • Website Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Web Development
  • CMS
San Jose Spotlight site on monitor

While traditional newspapers downsize around the country, the nonprofit model is taking off. San José Spotlight is leading the charge in our city with 520K+ new readers in the first year.

Our job was to create a site that not only stands out in today’s media landscape, but improves the way the community engages with the news. They must project an image of trust.

San Jose Spotlight website tablet mockup

We took a phased approach.

While the Spotlight team worked hard to write the content needed to officially launch, we supported them with a temporary version of their site. A single landing page was a quick solution to providing the online presence they needed to continue promotion and fundraising. It was designed thoughtfully and contributed to brand awareness, but also rewarded both of our teams with time to focus on the larger task at hand—building an infrastructure for the news.

We built the larger site in parallel. It looked sleek, but most importantly highlighted the day’s top headlines and created an easy path to various news topics. It also provided information on San José Spotlight itself. Our templates were built to support various types of content, interactive features, and ultimately, their long term growth.

Thank you to the whole team! The site fits our mission perfectly and it’s been a joy working with you all. Your developers went above and beyond to make sure we were ready for launch and we consistently get compliments on the clean, sophisticated design.

San Jose Spotlight
Ramona Giwargis
Co-Founder & Editor

Headlines change daily.

With the news, comes a great responsibility for accurate, timely content. To become a credible outlet for San José’s top stories, Spotlight needed a CMS that would support constant updates and a fleet of contributing reporters. Our development team worked hard to meet those requirements and train their staff to use the system against an incredibly aggressive deadline. We worked with them through the launch to QA every detail of the site and ensure every bug was corrected so it was not only beautiful, but error-free.

How do you measure success?

Since their launch Spotlight has seen consistent growth in readership and community engagement. In just nine months, they achieved the following:


new readers


page views


comments from the community




donated via the website


readers per day